Police say that the 85 fatal accidents in our area experienced last year, while not ideal, was good news for the city. According to these police, the number of fatal accidents in 2017 was right at 100.

Police say that the number is still higher than they would like to see, and they are unsure what exactly caused the 15 percent decrease in fatalities. They did point out that, in 2018, police made a concerted effort to write more routine traffic citations, like for failing to yield, rather than letting the offending driver off with a warning. By Nov. 2018, police in the areas had written 142,613 traffic citations, up considerably from 109,362 in Nov. 2017.

The latest statistics did not have all good news for residents, however. For instance, nearly half of the fatalities involved a driver who either had been drinking or was under the influence of drugs. This is quite a bit higher than the national average of one in three fatal accidents being connected to drunk or drugged driving.

Kansas City may thus have further room to improve when it comes to assuring that drivers in the area are sober and thus able to handle their vehicles safely. These statistics do not break down whether a fatal accident involved more than one vehicle, but some of them obviously did. In fact, one of the last fatal accidents in 2018 involved a motorcyclist who died after colliding with a passenger car.

When a fatal auto accident does involve more than one vehicle, a grieving family may wish to explore their legal options. This will allow them to hold the other driver accountable to pay compensation for things like lost wages, medical bills and other damages.